Cafe Michel reopens after three months

Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 5:21 PM EDT
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CLIFTON FORGE, Va. (WDBJ) - Chef Michel Galand has spent most of his time these last three months in his garden, though he wasn’t too pleased with the results.

“I put the pole green beans,” he said, pointing at a bare patch. “Nothing happened!”

In better years, he’s able to use his own produce to supplement the meals he makes at Café Michel, where he’s been serving customers for over four decades.

“I’ve been cooking since I was 12 years old,” Galand said.

In the dining area, the tables are spaced out for social distancing.

He didn’t really need to open for in-house dining, but he wanted to let his people work.

“I would do carry-out only, but I don’t want to do carry-out only because it would hurt my employees,” he said. “I’ve got seven people working for me.”

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, they’ve been cleaning and sanitizing, preparing the counters and getting ready to fill the bins with prepared food.

“I’m not comfortable with it, a little bit nervous,” Galand said about all the new limitations. “I don’t know, it’s going to be tough.”

But he’s seen plenty of support from his regular customers.

“They bug the living thing out of me,” he laughed. “They say, ‘When are you going to reopen?’ What I do sometimes, when I make a dish and I put it on Facebook, and they say, ‘When are you going to reopen?’ Well, you know. And I laugh about it, and I say, ‘sometime.‘”

So at last, that sometime is now.

“Life goes on,” Galand said. “I’m going to start tomorrow; I’m going to be very happy to get back in business, and that’s going to be it.”

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